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Homeopathy does have a place

I write with reference to the homeopathy debate ('Does homeopathy have any place in general practice?').

I was called out at 3am to treat a man with right-sided quinsy. He was pyrexial, tachycardic, drooling and with such a degree of trismus, lancing his boil was impossible.

While examining him, the homeopathic remedy I had been reading about came to mind - Belladonna, a classic for sudden onset of inflammation with a hot red right cheek, pyrexia, dilated pupils, lachrymation, visible throbbing carotid pulsation and worsening of symptoms after midnight.

I had a homeopathic starter kit to hand so I popped a pill of Belladonna 30c in his mouth.

On returning 10 minutes later to set up a drip and administer his IV cefuroxime and metronidazole, I was somewhat surprised to find him sipping water. His pyrexia and tachycardia had settled.

I sent him home with antibiotics and he didn't need to reattend, although he did have his interval tonsillectomy three months later.

I was amazed and intrigued and have explored integrated medicine since. Belief in homeopathy still escapes my scientific comprehension, and yet patients get better. My partners send their heartsinks to me - these patients seem to stop attending the surgery or do so less often, and I gleefully tick the QOF boxes.

Not proof, nor evidence, but something to think about.

From Dr Andrew Sikorski, Wadhurst, East Sussex

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